OEA President Responds to State of the State

This afternoon, Gov. Kevin Stitt gave his second State of the State address. Here’s what OEA President Alicia Priest had to say about his speech: 

In his State of the State message today, Gov. Stitt praised the legislature for improving public education funding over the last two years but didn’t call for any new revenue for Oklahoma public schools. There was no call for more money for the classroom, no call for a cost-of-living adjustment for our retirees and no call for teacher or support professional pay raises.

Our per pupil expenditure is still near the bottom nationally. Texas and Colorado continue to pay their teachers better than we do. Our teachers didn’t walk in 2018 for a one-time payout. We walked so our children would have a brighter future.

Instead, Gov. Stitt recycled the bad policy of voucher tax credits. This program allows parents only partial funding for private school tuition while reducing the amount of money available for the 90% of Oklahoma children who attend public schools.

We agree that a child’s zip code shouldn’t determine their access to a quality education. That’s the job of a well-funded public education system.